About me

My name is Shiling Liang1. I am a final-year PhD student at the Laboratory of Statistical Biophysics, EPFL. Before I started my PhD, I obtained M.Sc. in Physics at EPFL and B.Sc. in Physics from Beijing Normal University and the University of Manchester2.

My main research interest is on non-equilibrium thermodynamics and its application to biochemical systems. During my master and beginning of PhD, I was investigating how a temperature gradient can break symmetries in both chemical and real space, which may lead to the origin of life. Recently, I am working to reveal the thermodynamic cost to break symmetries in biochemical systems. I am also interested in stochastic thermodynamics, all kinds of thermo-kinetic bounds in stochastic and out-of-equilibrium systems. I enjoy understanding the world by building minimal models.

If my research resonates with you and you'd like to discuss it further, please don't hesitate to email me.


2024.07.17 The thermodynamics bounds of biochemical systems Phys. Rev. Lett. 132, 228402 got upgraded! Now we can define the thermodynamic space for general chemical reaction networks involving muti-molecular reactions (i.e. hypergraph CRNs). Here is the preprint: arXiv:2407.11498.
2024.05.04 I will attend the Frontiers in Non-equilibrium Physics workshop in Kyoto from 07th to 20th July, 2024.

Selected Publications

$\color{black} \blacktriangleright$ Thermodynamic Costs of Symmetry Breaking


Thermodynamic Space of Chemical Reaction Networks

S. Liang, P. De Los Rios & D. M. Busiello
arXiv: 2308.14497 (2024)

$\color{red}\blacksquare$ Thermodynamically accessible phase space for (non-equilibrium) chemical reaction networks at stationarity.


Thermodynamic bounds on symmetry breaking in linear and catalytic biochemical systems

S. Liang, P. De Los Rios & D. M. Busiello
Phys. Rev. Lett. 132, 228402 (2024)
Poster | Video

$\color{red}\blacksquare$ Network geometry reveals universal thermodynamic bounds in various of biochemical systems, ranging from the error rate of kinetic proofreading to the contrast of reaction-diffusion pattern.


Thermodynamic bounds on time-reversal asymmetry

S. Liang & S. Pigolotti
Phys. Rev. E 108, L062101 (Letter) (2023)

$\color{red}\blacksquare$ Temporal-coarse-grained measure of time-reversal asymmetry can be used to infer non-equilibrium driving forces.

$\color{black} \blacktriangleright$ Finite-Time Thermodynamics


A Minimal Model for Carnot Efficiency at Maximum Power

S. Liang, Y.-H. Ma, D. M. Busiello & P. De Los Rios
arXiv 2312.02323 (2023)

$\color{red}\blacksquare$ A minimal model reveal the attainability of Carnot efficiency at maximum power.

$\color{black} \blacktriangleright$ Chemical Systems in Non-Isothermal Environments


Emergent thermophoretic behavior in chemical reaction systems

S. Liang, D. M. Busiello & P. De Los Rios
New Journal of Physics 24 123006 (2022)
Poster | Summary

$\color{red}\blacksquare$ Thermophoresis can emerge from reaction-diffusion system. Favouring cold or hot regions depends on the correlation between transport properties and energies.


Dissipation-driven selection of states in non-equilibrium chemical networks

D. M. Busiello, S. Liang, F. Piazza & P. De Los Rios
Communication Chemistry 4 16 (2021)

$\color{red}\blacksquare$ Chemical reaction network with kinetic asymmetry can harvest thermal energy to break symmetry in chemical space.

  1. How to pronounce my name: Shiling (given name) Liang (family name). 

  2. A joint program between Beijing Normal University and the University of Manchester.